Cheeseburger in Paradise

29 Aug


The roasted Brussels sprout-packed lamb patty with shiitake, Gruyere, and horseradish cream on brioche. Photo by Daily Candy


This “donut burger” is yet another reason I can’t wait to move to New York.

In 9 days, 10 hours and 57 minutes [depending on when you’re reading this, they might already have opened!], 4food opens their doors at 40th and Madison.  They’ll be positioned between Grand Central Station, and one of the best places in the city to enjoy an outdoor lunch, Bryant Park.

The 4food concept was developed by Adam Kidron and Michael Shuman, as an alternative to America’s unhealthy fast food industry.  The founders state that “4food is a socially networked quick service restaurant company. Our mission is to bring fast food that’s fresh, delicious, and nutritious to all ages, lifestyles, incomes, and ethnicities. No fads, fillers, or anything artificial. We’re revolutionizing counter culture, in real-time.”  In order to fulfill their mission, Kidron and Shuman enlisted the help of Bill Niman the founder of Niman Ranch, the largest purveyor of natural meats in the US with revenues of over $100 million; Dr. Woodson Merrill, founder of the Beth Israel Center for Integrated Medicine and a leading authority on wellness and nutrition; and Ed Winter, Chairman of Omnicom’s “Brand Activation” Agency, Tracy Locke, and one of the foremost experts on marketing to young people in the US.

Their signature product is the W(hole)burger™a donut shaped, beef, lamb, pork, turkey, veggie, salmon or egg patty-balanced (made whole) by one of 25 ethnically diverse Veggiescoop centers, each with unique nutritional attributes. They make Skewers with the holes punched out of the patties, which when accompanied by Veggiescoop sides, become the perfect bunless, low-carb, sharing food.

4food is not only about serving healthy, nutritional food, they are also committed to supporting fair labor practices, purchasing foods from sources that are humane and natural, and utilizing sustainable resources whenever possible.  They also encourage customers to promote their own favorite burgers on the website, thus involving the community and reducing the cost of expenditure for advertising and marketing.

Their credo is as follows:

  1. De-junked fast food is made of quality, natural ingredients and customizable to your taste and nutrition goals.
  2. Our foods don’t contain any hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats or oils.
  3. No artificial sweeteners. No preservatives. No artificial flavor enhancers.
  4. None of our food is fried.
  5. If it’s soy, it’s not Monsanto*—wherever possible we purchase whole ingredients that have neither been genetically engineered nor modified.
  6. Our chefs use simple and straightforward cooking techniques to prepare and cook your food to order.
  7. Our cows, pigs, and sheep are humanely raised while grazing and eating vegetarian diets.
  8. Our poultry and fish are fed heritage foods with no artificial growth hormones or antibiotics.
  9. You know (because we tell you) where all of our ingredients come from.
  10. We provide personalized nutrition facts, advice, and menu recommendations every day in—store, at, and printed on every receipt.
  11. We charge reasonable prices, when the rights of farm workers to earn a living wage, the integrity of our food preparation, and the quality of our ingredients are taken into account.
  12. Your purchases provide real world job training to individuals transitioning back into the work force—to earn more than minimum wage.
  13. We compost in-store and recycle. We employ sunscreen systems, LED lighting, and purchase renewable energy credits from alternative energy generators. We’re committed to increasing our use of sustainable power as we grow.
  14. We incentivize you to market your custom W(hole)burgers™ online, so that we don’t have to. The money we save on marketing enables us to purchase better quality ingredients and keep our prices down.

Community focused nutritional fast food in an ecologically conscious restaurant?  All I can say is that New Yorkers had better sustain this place until I can get there!



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